Blessing of the Animals

Saturday, October 5 at 11 a.m. Bring your beloved animal companions -on leash or in a crate- to the front of the church for this annual blessing.

Youth lead the Day of Sharing service

The Youth Group led worship on September 15, sharing moving reflections about their experience at Broad Street Mission in Philadelphia.

Holy Week at First Church Amherst

Holy Week, the period from Palm/Passion Sunday through Easter Sunday, is a highlight of the church year, a jumble of tradition and emotion, and a collection of powerful and meaningful services. All people–no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey–are welcome to any and all of it.

April 14 is Palm Sunday, a celebration of Jesus’ so-called triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey. The people were excited and inspired, and they called Jesus their king and asked him to save him. Meanwhile, the soldiers of the Roman army were entering the city from the opposite direction, a show of military might and human power designed to discourage any rebellious behavior during the Passover festival. Because Jesus and his followers threatened the imperial order, Jesus’ entry also proved a turning point in his life.

Our service will re-enact the glory of Palm Sunday and begin to usher us into Jesus’ passion. The First Church Choir will sing two anthems, we’ll celebrate Communion, and reflect on what it all means.

April 18 is Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and his new commandment that they love one another as he had loved them. Our offerings begin with a Service of Foot-washing at 5:15 in the Chapel. At 6 o’clock all are invited to a simple supper of soup and bread in the Dining Room. At 7 o’clock the solemn and beautiful Service of Tenebrae begins in the Chapel.

April 19 is Good Friday and, as always, we participate in an ecumenical community service. This year’s service will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley. It begins at noon.

Easter Sunday is April 21! We’d love to see you for a joyful celebration of resurrection and new life, complete with balloons, glorious music, Communion, and an after-service egg hunt for children.

Come experience the promise, power, and joy of following Jesus!

Youth Group to visit Broad Street Ministry

The First Church Youth Group’s theme for this academic year is Making Mission Meaningful, and will culminate in a week-long visit to Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, PA.

Lent 2019: In the House of the Heart

Traditionally, we think of Lent as a time of repentance and surrender, of giving something up so that we might more clearly focus on following Jesus to the cross. It is all that, to be sure—and much more. And . . . what if we flipped, or at least slightly turned, the Lenten script to focus more on following Jesus to new and abundant life beyond the cross (by way of the cross)? What if we allowed the Lenten journey to, in the words of Jan Richardson, bring us “home to who [we] are called to be?”  Click to learn more about Lenten events and services.

Congregation to consider supporting denuclearization policy

The congregation will be studying and prayerfully considering whether to support the denuclearization campaign, “Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War.” Click to see the full text of the proposed resolution.

January 20 worship cancelled

Due to snow and predictions of freezing rain, sleet, and icy roads, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our worship service tomorrow, January 20.

We will miss seeing you (and one another) and hope you will come be a welcome part of our journey together at another time.

Meanwhile, please stay safe and warm. Blessings!

Christmas Eve Services

The Light we’ve been watching and waiting for is about to arrive!

On Christmas Eve we offer two completely different services:

At 5 o’clock, the Family Un-Pageant Service begins. It features a fun, moving, wondrous re-telling of the Christmas Story, and EVERYONE is invited to participate. Just choose a prop or costume when you arrive, and you’ll be called to come “on stage” at the appropriate time. The joy (and a little chaos) is contagious. The service ends with a goosebump-producing singing of “Silent Night” by the light of our antique candelabra. Then stick around for a cookie reception.

At 10 o’clock we have a very different kind of service: one with beautiful piano music, carol-singing, time for silence and reflection, Communion, and, of course, “Silent Night” and candles.

All blessings of the season to you! We hope to see you!